Under 16 girls team gets into junior basketball grand final.
Echuca Basketball Association hosted it biggest junior tournament earlier this month, with 79 teams coming from around regional Victoria.
The under 16A girls Echuca-Moama Pirates team played its first game against Wodonga.
Wodonga gained first possession of the ball and the intensity of the game was evident from the start.
The Pirates were struggling to make the baskets count and were down 6-2 at the 12-minute mark when the coach called a time out.
The Pirates came back and showed they could work the ball well and run a press break fluently to their advantage.
This was evident when Chelsea Atkins passed to Alyssa Clark then to Eve Gregor, Kloe Miechel and through to Vanessa Handy to make an easy basket.
There was great hustling of the ball from Atkins and Miechel, while Abby Poulton, Delaney Couroupis, Olivia Hannon and Lil Ward all contributed with intensity and precision.
At half-time the Pirates led by one point.
It was basket-for-basket in the second half, however the Pirates managed to get a small lead on the Wodonga Wolves.
Wodonga kept coming back and with only two minutes to play the Pirates were up by two points but it wasn’t to be for the Pirates, going down by two points, 27 to 25.
Handy top scored with eight points, followed by Atkins (7 points), Hannon (3), Clark, Couroupis and Ward (2), Miechel (1).
In the Pirates’ second match against Wangaratta Warriors, the Pirates gained first possession.
Hannon showed she could screen well in offence and Couroupis made a fantastic pass to Handy to make an easy two points for the Pirates.
At half-time the Pirates led 18 to 11.
The second half was intense as the ball moved from end to end, with the Pirates eventually winning 28-23.
The Pirates faced Shepparton next, with Gregor gaining possession and allowing the Pirates to take control.
The Shepparton Gators did not give up and continued to pressure the Pirates, however the Pirates comfortably won 46 to 18.
Castlemaine Cannons provided another tough game and physically exhausting game for the girls.
Once again the Pirates showed great hustling and strong defence to win 31 to 18.
The Pirates found themselves facing the Wodonga Wolves in the grand final.
The first 10 minutes of the game saw the Pirates down 3-6 and they were finding it hard to play as strongly as the Wolves.
Wodonga was hustling every possession the Pirates had and were pressing hard, while the Pirates were having trouble running their press break and were showing signs of fatigue.
At half-time the Pirates were down 21-9.
In the second half the Pirates tried to make baskets and doubled their score to 18 points, keeping Wodonga to 13.
But it wasn’t enough for the Pirates, going down 34-18.
Top scorers were Hannon and Handy with six points each, Gregor (5) and Atkins (1).
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